Ruzica Subotic-Howell used her experience as a DOC during the COVID-19 outbreak at Almonte Country Haven in 2020 as the focal point for her submission
A case study focused on crisis management that Ruzica Subotic-Howell created as part of the coursework for a training program aimed at long-term-care home directors of care (DOCs) and assistant directors of care (ADOCs) was so well received by the company offering the course that it will now be used as a component of the training program.
Ruzica, the director of infection, prevention and control at Garden Terrace, was enrolled in the DOC/ADOC leadership program offered by Silver Meridian, a Whitby, Ont.-based health-care consultancy firm, in 2020 while she was DOC at Almonte Country Haven.
The Silver Meridian DOC/ADOC leadership program is a certificate course that includes components focusing on the challenges nurse leaders face in long-term care homes and how they can overcome those challenges.
The program is offered to directors of care (DOCs) and assistant directors of care (ADOCs) or those who aspire to hold these positions in a long-term care home.
The case study Ruzica developed was based on her experiences working at Almonte Country Haven during the COVID-19 outbreak that impacted the home shortly after the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization last March.
Ruzica’s case study largely focuses on the challenges the home faced, the approaches used to control the outbreak, what she learned as a nurse leader, and how she and others worked with stakeholders in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment to control a virus which, at the time, little was known about.
The written narrative Ruzica submitted garnered positive feedback from Silver Meridian. Silver Meridian said her submission was an “exemplary example of a crisis management case study” that demonstrated innovation and leadership, was well focused and proactive.
Ruzica says she’s honoured Silver Meridian asked to use her case study to help others learn.
“I was deeply, deeply touched, because I wrote about the real-time experiences that we were having at the time of the outbreak so that we would retain that knowledge,” Ruzica tells The OMNIway.
Ruzica says a major highlight of her case study was on the importance of teamwork during a crisis. During the COVID-19 outbreak at Almonte Country Haven, people working in all departments came together to share ideas and information to help everyone through a challenging time. This teamwork proved to be valuable in getting the home through the outbreak.
“It was unbelievable; the nursing team and all the other departments came together,” Ruzica says. “It had to be a team effort, and the bonds and relationships that were created were unbelievable.”
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